If you are looking for interesting places to visit in Abia state, you have come to the right place. Although best known as a business hub, Abia state did not fall short in tourist attractions.
You may have heard that states in southeastern Nigeria have very little tourism to offer; while this is true when compared to most states in Nigeria’s northern and western parts, Abia state, however, can still boast of some natural tourist attractions.
As a state that is undeniably rich in history and culture, there is so much one can learn and experience by visiting any of the places listed in this article. From the history of the Nigerian civil war to a look back at the country’s colonial past.
Having visited the majority of these locations, I will not only share what they have to offer, but I will also link to individual posts I wrote about them so you can read my honest opinion based on my experience; this would give you a taste of what to expect as a resident or a visitor.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Top 8 Interesting Places to Visit in Abia State
1. Amakama Wooden Cave
Amakama wooden cave is one tourist attraction in Abia state that is often underappreciated. The cave is nothing more than a hollow tree, also known as Isienyi or Wonder tree, which was formed many decades ago as a result of community activities. The tree, which could house up to twenty people, served as a hideout for the villagers during the era of slave trade and inter-tribal wars.
The wonder tree is one of eight trees that tower what appears to be a community square. A small building nestled adjacent to the cave houses the man assigned to keep an eye on the site. He also works as a tour guide and will give you a free tour of the area, sharing its fascinating history and wonder.
With the interiors naturally air-conditioned, one could spend time alone whether it rains or shines, as the tree branches provide shelter above the open top.
Come see for yourself how a tree that is dead on the inside continues to produce leaves and fruits year after year. The Amakama wooden cave is located in the village of Isienyi-Ukwu in Amakama, Umuahia South.
2. Azumini Blue River
Azumini Blue River, located on the outskirts, is another tourist attraction in Abia State. It is a natural body of water that is crystal clear in appearance. The riverbank is ideal for a variety of activities such as picnicking, camping, and fish watching (because one can spot them at the bottom of the water due to its clear nature).
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a canoe ride down the river and observe how sand is extracted from the bottom of the river. Prices for canoe rides are negotiable.
Before using the river, tourists must obtain permission from the ruling council. This is required so that they can get to know you and your intentions for visiting, and also share some history and sets of instructions with you. You will not be asked to pay any fee, and the Eze will ensure that you are properly received.
Azumini Blue River is located in Azumini town of Ukwa East LGA, approximately 30 minutes from Aba.
3. National War Museum
Commissioned in 1985, the National War Museum displays artifacts from the Nigerian civil war, which lasted from 1967 to 1970. The museum is situated on a large undulating area of land which carries a collection of aircraft, ships, and armored cars.
The war museum is divided into three galleries: the traditional warfare gallery displays mostly photographs from the war; the Nigerian civil war weapon gallery displays weapons used during the war such as spears, shields, bows, arrows, and metal vests that the warriors used to protect themselves; and the armed forces gallery, houses ceremonial uniforms of army officers as well as photographs of past military leaders.
Tucked 30 feet deep is the Ojukwu’s bunker where the Voice of Biafra radio was transmitted from. The radio transmitter still sits pretty inside this bunker.
The National War Museum is located in Ebite Amafor in Isingwu Autonomous Community of Umuahia North LGA.
4. National Museum of Colonial History
If you want to learn about Nigeria’s history from precolonial to colonial times and up to independence, you should definitely visit the National Museum of Colonial History.
The museum, which was established in 1985, houses a collection of photographs and write-ups that document historical events. There are hundreds of historical collections, ethnographic objects, and archeological objects, all of which are useful resources for visitors, students, and historians alike.
The National Museum of Colonial History is located at 6 Ikot Ekpene Road, Aba.
5. Akwete Weavers
Although this is not a notable tourist attraction in Abia state, it is an excellent choice for those looking to purchase Abia-made fashion items.
The Akwete weaving industry is located in Akwete town and produces the famous and unique Akwete textile from raw materials such as wool, cotton, silk, raffia, cotton, and the bark of certain trees (hemp), using fabricated hand-looms. The finished product, also known as Akwete cloth or Akwa Miri, is typically worn by Chiefs and men of title, for special cultural events and festivals.
This weaving industry is located in Akwete Town in Ukwa East LGA and is 25 minutes drive from Aba when using Enugu-Port-Harcourt Expressway.
6. Ojukwu’s Bunker
A visit to Abia state will not be complete without exploring Ojukwu’s civil war home. Unlike the bunker at the National War Museum, this Ojukwu’s bunker is a three-bedroom underground apartment that served as a secret meeting place for Ojukwu and his men during the civil war. It includes a kitchen, a toilet, and a prison cell.
The main building’s front door opens into a large room filled with photographs of war scenes. The tour guide will explain the war and the roles that each prominent personality played during the war. Hiding behind this main building is the entrance of the bunker which is a small building of about four by four feet that opens into a staircase that leads about eight meters down.
There was a lot that happened during the war that you probably didn’t know about. You will get a taste of what life was like during these times by touring Ojukwu’s house.
The Ojukwu’s bunker is located at Ubakala, Umuahia.
7. Aba Nigeria Temple
The temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is said to be one of the most beautiful churches in Nigeria, and I would not disagree. There are only three Latter-day Saint temples in Africa, and the Aba Nigeria Temple is one of them. The other two are in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Accra, Ghana.
The Temple has a stunning view and is a must-see during your visit to Abia State. Visitors are always welcome, though they must go through security checks and wait to be assigned a tour guide.
The Aba Nigeria Temple was announced in April 2000, built and dedicated in July 2005 to serve the Latter-day Saints in Nigeria. The temple can be found on Okpu-Umuobo road, off Aba-Owerri Road, near Union Bank in Aba.
8. Arochukwu Caves and Long Juju Slave Route
This location in Arochukwu includes a cave used by the long juju oracle, a stream, and the destiny gate, also known as the gate of no return. The Arochukwu cave is a long, dark cave with numerous exits. The cave is thought to contain the long metal pipe through which the gods communicated with the people.
The long juju slave route, on the other hand, is a six-foot gully that leads to the cave. During the slave trade era, defaulters found guilty by the oracle in the apex court were sentenced to the dark tunnel (Arochukwu cave), and they had to drop their clothes at the cave’s entrance known as the hill of rags.
Those who entered the cave were never seen again, and it is believed that as the victims faded from sight, the aro would sprinkle an animal’s blood on the river as proof of death to the victim’s relatives.
The Iyi Eke stream is an outlet through which the blindfolded victims walk to the European beach (Onu Asu Bekee), where boats on standby transported them to Calabar for further transmission to overseas.
The story that resides here is quite something. However, if you are feeling up to it, you may go see it for yourself.
At first glance, Abia state appears to have little to offer, but when you dig deep, you will discover that there is far more than you can imagine. If you are interested in Nigerian history, you should definitely put these Abia state tourist attractions on your radar.
Do you look forward to visiting any of these locations in Abia state? Let me know in the comment box below.